Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) Review

Enables us to protect our network but it should be more user-friendly


What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to protect the network especially when someone brings their own device and to lock out access to anybody connecting to the network. Also to make sure that the people connect to the correct VLAN. So, mainly for security wifi access so that when people want to connect to our wifi they have to log in using their credentials.

How has it helped my organization?

We give guests limited access to the internet when they come in so that access has been useful. Previously, we just used to give them the APN key which they would leave with. Now, we give them credentials to use that are for a limited period of time.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. Any time we found an issue we would get in touch with the reseller to help fix it. Then they tell us where the problem is and we'll know where to look. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We have around 350 users. We required two staff members for maintenance but they don't have enough knowledge so we have to reach out externally for more help. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support has been good. They have been responsive every time we have an issue. They get logs, check and then give us feedback of which corrections to do.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. We had to engage an expert. When we rolled it out we would find challenges and then we would have to find a way of fixing those challenges. Out of  nowhere, it would lock out all users. Then we discovered that no, the password had expired for the service account. We needed to make it none expiry.

Deployment took about a month. We had to do project planning, discuss the plan with the team, and by the end, it was a month.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller for the implementation and we had a good experience with them. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you go directly with Cisco for the implementation it's very, very expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at Aruba.

What other advice do I have?

It's a good product but it requires technical support and knowledge otherwise it will be difficult to manage and run it. It requires somebody to be configuring issues. You need protection as you advance in the usage but it's a good product. 

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten. In order to make it a ten, it should be more user-friendly. You need somebody who is knowledgeable about it to use it. It's not easy to use. We have to rely heavily on technical support.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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